College Football 2011: Projecting the Biggest QB Disappointments of 2011
Your team's quarterback has it all figured out, huh? He's set to break all kinds of school records in 2011, inject his name into the Heisman Trophy race and generate insane amounts of bromance directed his way by fans.
Not so fast.
If every quarterback lived up to expectations every season there would 105 3,000-yard passers and another 15 guys who threw for 2,000 yards and rushed for 1,000.
It's completely unrealistic, but football fans are beside themselves when their favorite gridiron gunslinger slings the ball to the opponent 20 times in one season.
Here are the 10 quarterbacks ready to disappoint in 2011.
10. Kellen Moore, Boise State
Kellen Moore is going to learn about the laws of probability in 2011. Nobody just frolics through four years of college football.
Moore has done that for three seasons, throwing for 99 touchdowns and only 19 interceptions. There has to be some kind of set back waiting for him in 2011.
Of course, he's not going to fall off completely. He's just not going to match his 39/3 and 35/6 touchdown to interception ratios of the past two seasons. He'll dramatically slump, only throwing 30 touchdowns while tossing an absurd eight interceptions. Unspeakable!
9. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Michigan State was on a magical carpet ride in 2010 until Alabama played the role of Jafar and shut them down. (Yes, I just referenced Disney's Aladdin.)
Kirk Cousins had things clicking all season, playing the supporting role to running backs Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell.
But magic doesn't last forever and the Spartans will have to legitimize themselves in 2011. That starts with Cousins. He'll be his same consistent self, but he's not going to blossom as Spartan fans hope.
8. Ryan Katz, Oregon State
I do not envy Ryan Katz. He's headed into his junior year so there are no more excuses to be made for him being inexperienced. However, brothers James and Jacquizz Rodgers are gone.
Katz's stomach must be churning.
He's tasked with leading the offense for a team looking to rebound from a disappointing 2010. The program had a ton of momentum and now is hoping to get back. It's too much for Katz to do himself.
7. Steven Threet, Arizona State
Steven Threet transferred from Michigan in 2008. He took over for Arizona State last year with decent results. Threet passed for more than 2500 yards with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
The Sun Devils are already creating some buzz for 2011. There is talk of them starting the season ranked and Threet has a lot to do with that.
He's poised for a breakout season in the desert. Poised, but it won't happen. When was the last time Arizona State lived up to expectations? Threet will unwind as the team does.
6. B.J. Daniels, South Florida
South Florida has been flirting with changing the Big Three of Florida, Florida State and Miami (Fla.) into the Big Four.
But flirting and closing the deal are two different things. The Bulls can flirt all they want, but unless they start getting in on the perennial winning action, they'll always be the little guy.
B.J. Daniels had the potential to vault South Florida to the promised land with his dual-threat capability. After a disappointing 2010, Daniels has another chance to make the Bulls respected. Sorry, B.J., but starting the season at Notre Dame will not bode well for you.
5. Jordan Jefferson, LSU
Jordan Jefferson was scintillating in the 2010 Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M, accounting for more than 200 yards of offense and four touchdowns.
LSU fans know 2011 is the season for everything to come together. Les Miles stayed. The defense returns plenty of talent. And Jefferson is ready to tap into that potential that has teased Tiger fans for three seasons.
Jefferson's potential will remain untapped. Playing Oregon in Dallas, at West Virginia, at Florida and at Alabama doesn't help. At least two of those games could be demoralizing performances for Jefferson.
Keep that arm warm, Jarrett Lee.
4. John Brantley, Florida
I know, I know. The offense is going to change to a pro-style that will cater to John Brantley's skill-set. Charlie Weis is going to be there to groom him as he did Brady Quinn at Notre Dame.
But I'm just not buying it. Brantley didn't look ill-fitted for Florida's offense last year as much as he just looked ill-fitted to be a star quarterback. I like the guy and replacing Tim Tebow is a tough gig. I hope I'm wrong.
But I don't think I am. Obviously.
3. Jordan Wynn, Utah
Now to the department of quarterbacks that few know of.
Jordan Wynn broke onto the scene as a freshman in 2009 and had Utah fans all in a tizzy thinking about the future. He's been accurate and has won a lot of games.
But 2010 was a step back. He looked rattled, unsure and, at times, awful. Utes fans are expecting a more mature version of Wynn with production similar to 2009.
The only problem is that the competition experienced a slight (read: huge) upgrade when Utah moved to the Pac-10 from the Mountain West. Godspeed, Jordan.
2. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
Just after Nebraska throttled Kansas State last season behind a marvelous performance by Taylor Martinez, the freshman was getting substantial Heisman buzz.
Next, he was getting benched in the third quarter against Texas. As the season ended, Martinez transfer rumors circulated.
It now looks like Martinez and coach Bo Pelini are done bickering and ready to get preparations in order for 2011. Husker Nation has its eyes set at a Big Ten crown in its first season as members.
Martinez won't be able to get it done. The Big Ten—just like the Big 12—preys on inconsistency. Inconsistency is Martinez's forte, of sorts.
1. Garrett Gilbert, Texas
What expectations, you might ask, could Garrett Gilbert deliver a disappointment for? Lest us not forget that this is Texas. 2010 was its first season without a bowl game since 1997.
Coach Mack Brown has shaken up the staff. He's expressed extreme disappointment in last season. Texas fans are aching for success. They'll accept nothing less than a serious run at a Big 12 title.
Unfortunately, these expectations are heaped on Gilbert's left shoulder. We'll see some improvement from him in 2011, but he's not yet the savior Longhorn fans want.